Latest AMD game physics push brings soft-body simulations

— 4:39 PM on March 8, 2010

AMD's Open Physics initiative is still going. Just under six months after announcing its partnership with Pixelux, AMD has now posted another press release to say it, Pixelux, and Bullet Physics, are giving game developers access to the newest release of Pixelux's Digital Molecular Matter physics middleware.

Furthermore, Pixelux has "tightly integrated" Digital Molecular Matter with the Bullet Physics programming interface, on which AMD's September 30 announcement centered. The integration will let developers "integrate physics simulation into game titles that run on both OpenCL- and DirectCompute-capable platforms," the announcement says. (As we understand it, Bullet Physics handles rigid-body physics computations, while DMM supports soft body dynamics.)

Naturally, both OpenCL and DirectCompute programming interfaces allow general-purpose software to run on graphics processors regardless of their manufacturer. In theory, since both AMD and Nvidia graphics chips support the two technologies, AMD's initiative shouldn't result in games that require a particular make of card for hardware-accelerated physics to work—hence the "Open Physics" moniker, presumably. Nvidia's PhysX API currently works only on Nvidia GPUs, by contrast.

Today's announcement doesn't name any high-profile titles that will take advantage of this Open Physics push. Nevertheless, AMD notes that both Digital Molecular Matter and Bullet Physics middleware work with Trinigy's Vision Engine, which powers, among other titles, The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom by Ubisoft.

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